Book on Japanese animation - published by BFI London, 2005
 
        
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Sexual Robots & Plastic Humans in Anime

AV presentation presented at:

2012
College of Creative Arts Gallery, Wellington, New Zealand (GITS2)
Keynote presentation, 25th Society for Animation Studies Conference, Melbourne (GITS2)
Australian Film Television & Radio School, Melbourne (GITS2)
2011
World Cinema Now, Melbourne (FLCL)
RMIT University Gallery, Melbourne (GITS2)
Australian Film Television & Radio School, Melbourne (GITS2)
2010
Australian Film Television & Radio School, Melbourne (GITS2)
2009
Australian Film Television & Radio School, Melbourne (GITS2)
2008
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (GITS2)
Australian Film Television & Radio School, Melbourne (GITS2)
2007
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand (GITS2)
Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand (GITS2)
Japan Information & Culture Centre, Wellington, New Zealand (GITS2)
Auckland Museum, Auckland, New Zealand (GITS2)
2006
Australian Film Televsion & Radio School, Sydney
(GITS2 + FLCL)


Lecture notes

It is in bodily representation that anime heavily subscribes to a thesis of ‘post-humanism’ – the re-imaging, reinventing and reconfiguring of all we assume humanity and humanism to signify. The body in anime is aggregatively sculpted to create a contra-photographic, mega-ornamental, hyper-extended figure. Clean of any collaging of classical and archaic parts, the anime body is a new species, holistic in form and genetically manipulated according to anime’s encompassing of the history of human form as perceived within Japan.

Anime’s reliance on mannequinned form and its animation of multifarious guises, masks and faces presents the human as skeletal architecture, plasticized flesh and neural matrixes. Sublime in its post-humanism, anime tells the story of a human who dreamt of being a robot – and whose dream one day came true.


The Past

1854: American entry into Yokosuka
1923: Great Kanto Earthquake
1945: Atom Bomb blasts on Hiroshima & Nagasaki
1945: Japanese surrender to the US
1945: Humanization of Emperor Hirohito

The Post

1854: American entry into Yokosuka
1923: Great Kanto Earthquake
1945: Atom Bomb blasts on Hiroshima & Nagasaki
1945: Japanese surrender to the US
1945: Humanization of Emperor Hirohito
1945-1952: American Occupation under General MacArthur
1964: Tokyo Olympics
1970: Osaka World Fair

Anime image

Ukio-e (c. 1650 – 1850) statuesque portraiture
No shading; restricted palette; negative space

Yamato-e (c. 900 – 1500) psycho-geographic perspective
Multiple planes; spatial contemplation; cosmological overview

Yoga (c. 1850 – 1900) stylistic fusion
Mimetic allusion; visual hetereogenaeity; painterly re-coding

Nihon-ga (c. 1850 – 1900) cultural projection
Gestural rendering; calligraphic instatement; material sublimation

Anime movement

Kabuki (c. 1600 – 1950) spatio-temporality
Frozen poses; flattened scenography; disruptive presence

Bunraku (c. 1650 – 1900) puppet effects
Visible mechanics; human distillation; limited animation

Noh (c. 1400 – 1900) dehumanization
Facial masks; human absence; fixed visage

Butoh (c. 1960 >) rehumanization
Bodily energy; muscular collapse; fluid stature


Ghost in the Shell 2 - Innocence

Opening CGI sequence
Directed by Mamoru Oshii
Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow
Theme score by Kenji Kawaii

Merging cosmologies – macro as micro Ariel bombardment – WWII point-of-view
Hiroshima – advent of Ground Zero Rebirth – the eruption of being
Regrowth – genetic mutation Re-design – the new human shell
Exponential transformation The locked genetic code
New creation phase 1 – motion mechanics New creation phase 2 – manual logistics
Godless armature Positive/external dexterity – internal/negative neurology
Morphological mutation – the plastic human Cloning the Self
Mirror phasing the Other The genetic pool
The implosion of physics – new exponential effects Simultaneous yet conflicting realities
Being born through the white light of death The post-human – the sexual robot
The guise of geisha servitude The eye of Japan

All GHOST IN THE SHELL 2 - INNOCENCE images © Production IG


FLCL (Furi Kuri)

2000 (6 part OVA)
Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki
Original story by Studio GAINAX (Neon Genesis Evangelion - 1997)
Boy – Naota
Alien – Haruko
Girl – Mamimi
Robot

Naota
Teenage trauma
The ground zero of Self
Hikikomori (‘stay-at-home’)
Naota
Reversioning the Giant Mecha
Cranial birth of the Imaginary Robot
Externalizing the Self
Haruko
Alien spectre of the yokai witch
Avenging new-woman
Rock bitch with Fender bass
Mystical maiden
Mamimi
The transcultural ingenue
The feminine entwined with the elements
The Japanese doll
War on Everything
Transformed powers
The re-invented Self
Just another ‘end-of-the-world’

All FLCL images © Gainax



Complete contents of this page © Philip Brophy